Thursday, October 01, 2015

Good News Number 2 on an Endangered Species

This is closer to home and a species I didn't know was endangered.  AND it talks about a successful governmental program in the US.  A rarity across the board.
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This little fella is the Black Footed Ferret and they once lived all across the plains of the mid-west and west.  They are now being re-introduced onto ranges in Colorado and Arizona.
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There is something called the Safe Harbor Act, that allows landowners who volunteer to sponsor endangered species to not be subject to the Federal Endangered Species act, which can limit what you can do with land.
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So, this is how it is working with Black Footed Ferrets.  Ranchers don't really like prairie dogs.  The dig holes that might change a hoof.  The eat the grass around their holes (to better see) that the cattle could be eating.  And they breed like prairie dogs who don't have a lot of natural predators than don't also annoy ranchers.  Enter the Black Footed Ferret.  Apparently they eat prairie dogs and then take over their dens. link
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They have been re-introduced into 21 sites and keep the prairie dog population in check.  Now, prairie dogs are cute, just like deer are cute.  But too many of either is a problem and Black Foored Ferrets keep down the population of one.
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That one being prairie dogs, of course.  A black footed ferret big enough to take down a deer would be whole different problem.

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